Mayor Bloomberg's $7.5 billion plan to build or preserve city-financed residences for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families has constructed and protected 94,000 units over the past seven years — but over the same period the city's richest man has been unable to prevent rents from skyrocketing on some 200,000 other "affordable" units.
The NY Times reports that the Mayor's efforts to help the city's poor find housing have "been nearly drowned out by the twin waves of gentrification and rent deregulation," resulting in a 17% drop in the number of units affordable to low-income New Yorkers since 2002. Community Service Society senior housing policy analyst Victor Bach said, "We're losing units even with additions to the stock under the mayor's housing plan...I'm not knocking the plan. I'm just saying it hasn't done much to stop the hemorrhaging of lower-rent units across the city."
The bulk of that decline happened between 2002 and 2005. Since then, the city has gained about 8,000 affordable units — a positive sign according to City Housing Commissioner Rafael Cestero, "We're very proud of what we've accomplished, but we're also not satisfied or done. What the data suggests is that the response is working." And thanks to the recession, there's potential affordable housing stock in foreclosed luxury condos.